Saturday, May 18, 2024

Rudy Gobert Opens Up About Family Racism Towards Him as a Child

Rudy Gobert
Rudy Gobert / Getty

*NBA player Rudy Gobert shared his experiences with racism as a child in an essay published by The Players’ Tribune.

The Minnesota Timberwolves star disclosed that the racial encounters started during infancy and involved close family members. In the essay, Gobert recalls a conversation between his mother, who is white, and members of her family who did not welcome him to a “big Christmas dinner” when he was a boy. 

“It’s a painful memory, but one that I need to share,” he wrote of the moment, which occurred in his home country of France.

“You see, every year, my mom’s side of the family had this big Christmas dinner at a certain person’s house. My mom is white. My dad is Black. He’s from Guadeloupe, and he was playing basketball professionally in France when they met. My mom already had two white children from her previous relationship, and then I came into the world,” he wrote, “And for some people, that was a problem.”

Gobert’s father returned to Guadeloupe in the Caribbean to play professional basketball when Rudy was two.

Gobert also recounts how certain relatives vehemently opposed his mother’s coming to their home if she brought him along. His mother chose her baby over her racist family, he shares in the essay. 

“She was devastated,” Gobert wrote. “And obviously, she spent Christmas with me instead. She told them, ‘If that’s the way you think, then you’re not going to see me anymore. Not at Christmas. Not ever. I don’t want anything to do with you.'”

Rudy expressed his motivation for writing the essay, citing the tendency of people to create narratives about him without truly knowing his story.

“If you want to stop at the surface with me, that’s fine,” he wrote. “But if you actually want to get to know me on a deeper level, then I will let you know about a few things that came to me when I was reflecting on my life in the dark…. Beautiful things. Painful things. A lot of things.”

Read his full essay here.

READ MORE: Draymond Green Suspended for Five Games for Putting Rudy Gobert in Headlock | WATCH

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